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Observational Learning Essay

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The effects of observational learning on children
Does allowing children to watch violent television and what they see on a daily basis in their lives from peers and adults effect their actions, and thoughts? The answer is simply yes! When it comes down to the facts, children’s behaviors are greatly influenced from what they see going on around them. Children can be taught to be violent or they can be taught to be kind, they can be taught to be confident, or they can be stripped of their self-confidence, they can be taught to be great or they can be taught to fail in life all from observing how adults and peers in their life act.
Children start out in life observing everything that everyone and everything around them are doing. They learn to walk, talk, and feed themselves from observing what their parents, siblings, and other people around them do. They learn these things from observing and then imitating them. “It has been found that infants as early 6 weeks old imitate facial expressions and infants 6 and 9 months of age have shown to exhibit deferred imitation of actions demonstrated with objects” (Jones, Hebert. 197). “Recently researchers at the University of Washington and Temple University have found the first evidence revealing a key aspect of the brain processing that occurs in babies to allow this learning by observation” (“Baby Brains Learn Through Imitation”). In their study they found that when a baby observed an adult touch a toy with their hand the same part of the brain that controls the same hand on the child would light up. The same was true if they observed an adult touch the toy with their foot, the foot part of the child’s brain would light up. These results showed that when babies observed someone els...

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...Jones and Hebert found that infants as early as 6 weeks old imitate facial expressions and infants 6 to 9 months of age have shown to exhibit deferred imitation of actions demonstrated with objects. Greer, Dudek-Singer and Gautreaux found that even weeks after their study was completed that the children’s behavior was still able to be reinforced with the plastic discs that were used in their experiment. The exposure to chronic alcoholism by parents effect children well into adulthood and in almost every area of their lives from health to relationships and Huesmann, L. R., Moise-Titus, J., Podolski, C., & Eron, L. D. found that exposure to early childhood violence on television effects children well into adulthood. These studies are proof that what children observe growing up does effect what they learn and can have horrible effects on who they are when they grow up.
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